Filing income tax returns online: These 10 steps will make it easy for you
Editor's note: This article is being republished with updates.
By Vineet Agarwal
The last date for filing tax return for financial year 2015-16 for individuals is 5 August 2016. Individuals earning above Rs 5 lakh are required to file their tax returns electronically.
Here is a quick 10 steps guide to file your tax return
Step 1: Create your e-filing account
In order to create an e-filing account, you should visit the Income Tax website https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and click on 'Register Yourself' which will prompt you to fill your personal details. Once your e-filing account is created, login to your account with your user ID (ie PAN) and password.
Step 2: Download Form 26AS
Click on the 'View Form 26AS (Tax Credit)' link displayed under the Quick Link menu on the left hand side of the screen to generate Form 26AS. Form 26AS is a consolidated tax statement issued to a tax payer which summarizes the amount paid against each PAN number. It summarizes the TDS, Advance tax, Self assessment tax paid in your name. The password to open your Form 26AS is your date of birth in ddmmyyyy format.
Step 3: Download the income tax return form
Click on the 'Download ITR' link which is also displayed under the Quick Link menu on the left hand side of the screen. Thereafter download the income tax return form. ITR 1 should be downloaded by individuals earning salary income / pension; or individuals having one house property income; or individuals having income from other sources (excluding lottery income and income from race horses). However, in case of an individual having income from more than one house property, capital gains or is an ordinary resident having assets abroad or claiming tax treaty benefit, then ITR-2 should be downloaded. After downloading the income tax return form, a zip file will be saved on your computer.
Step 4: Fill the details in the Tax return form
Extract the excel form utility from the downloaded zip file and enable the macros in the Excel form. Carefully follow the instructions and fill the following details:
•Mention the basic details which include your name, PAN, complete address, date of birth, e-mail ID, mobile number, whether the return is original or revised, and residential status.
•You can refer to your Form 16 and Form 26AS. However, you will also be required to report any other income or investment eligible for deduction which was not reported to your employer.
•Enter the details of tax deducted by the employer and other deductors and self-assessment / advance tax paid, if any.
•Enter your bank details, which include your bank account number, preferred mode of receiving any refund amount (ie by cheque or direct deposit), type of bank account and IFSC code.
Step 5: Validate the details
Click on the 'Validate' button provided on all the sheets. This ensures that all the details have been captured in the return. In the case you omit anything; the sheet will automatically prompt you to fill in the missing details.
Step 6: Calculate your tax liability
Click on 'Calculate Tax' after you have filled all the details. In case the return form shows any tax payable, then you should deposit the amount and enter the challan details in the return form.
Step 7: Generate the XML file
Once all taxes have been paid, click on the 'Generate XML' tab and save the xml generated file on your computer.
Step 8: Submit the income tax return
You should go to your e-filing account on the income tax website and click on 'Upload Return'. Fill the ITR Form, Name, Assessment Year. Thereafter upload the XML file and click on 'Submit'. After this an ITR-V will be generated and sent to your e-mail ID mentioned in the tax return. ITR-V is an acknowledgement-cum-verification form.
Step 9: Send the signed ITR-V to the Income Tax Department
You should take a print of ITR-V and sign it in blue ink. Therafter you should send it by ordinary post or speed post to 'Income Tax Department - CPC, Post Bag No - 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengaluru - 560100. The signed ITR-V should be sent within 120 days of uploading the return.
Step 10: Check the ITR-V receipt status
On receipt of the signed ITR-V, the Income Tax Department will send an e-mail acknowledging the receipt of ITR-V to the e-mail ID mentioned in the tax return. You will also receive an SMS on your mobile number acknowledging the receipt of tax return.
(The author is a Director in KPMG. The views expressed are personal)
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